Home Air Quality USGBC: More Than 1,000 Hotels Now LEED Certified Globally

USGBC: More Than 1,000 Hotels Now LEED Certified Globally

Glenn Hasek

The idea for the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system was hatched almost 30 years ago in 1993. Today, there are more than 100,000 buildings participating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) certification program. Approximately 1,000 of those buildings are lodgings located around the world.

According to USGBC, “LEED certified buildings are proven to save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people. They are a critical part of addressing the climate crisis, meeting ESG goals, enhancing resilience, and supporting more equitable communities.”

The most recent version of LEED is LEED v4.1 which was released in 2019. As with previous versions of LEED, v4.1 is a points-based system with Platinum being highest level, followed by Gold, Silver, and Certified. Hotels can earn LEED certification for Building Design & Construction, Interior Design and Construction, and Operations & Maintenance. In LEED v4.1, most of the LEED credits are related to operational and embodied carbon.

A big thanks to USGBC for sending me an updated list of LEED certified hotels around the world. I found the following interesting on the list:

The first hotel to be LEED certified was the Kandalama Hotel in 2000. It is in Sri Lanka. Four years would pass before the next hotel would be certified—the Len Foote Hike Inn in Dawsonville, Ga. The most recent hotel to be certified: the Hotel Giralda Center in Seville, Spain. The list shows an increasing interest in LEED certification as the years go by, with minor fluctuation in the last few years.

U.S. Tops Country Participation Ranking

The country with the most LEED certified hotels is the U.S. with 461. After the U.S., USGBC lists properties by regions with Europe having the next greatest number of LEED certified hotels with 159.

By U.S. states, California has the most LEED certified hotels with 86. Second is Florida with 32, followed by Colorado with 18. Washington, D.C. has 29.

A quick glance at the list shows Marriott as the company with the most LEED certified hotels with Hilton, IHG and Hyatt also well represented.

Amazingly, there are 110 LEED Platinum certified hotels in the world, 65 of which are in the U.S. This number is way up from years past. The country with the second greatest number of LEED Platinum hotels is mainland China with nine. The list includes 365 LEED Gold hotels, 318 LEED Silver hotels, and 228 hotels at the lowest LEED Certified level. It is great to see most hotel owners/developers pursuing higher levels of LEED with almost half of all LEED certified hotels at the LEED Platinum or Gold levels.

The LEED certification system is constantly evolving with the following hot topics being addressed by USGBC and GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc., the organization that manages the actual LEED certification): decarbonization, electrification, equity, ESG, green finance, LEED and human health, net zero and resilience.

Interested in taking a look at the latest list of LEED certified hotels? Send a note to me at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

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